Castle Roland

Ascension of the Thrones

by Thomas Nealy

On Hold

Chapter 6

Published: 8 Apr 14


Ascension of the Thrones

by ThomasNealy

Date: Crutal /11/6874

Lucius looked at the main view-screen as he watched the ship enter port. He was excited, his Uncle told him that his brother was meeting them here. He still felt off with his brother being so far away and he was hoping that having his older brother close would make him feel better.

Thristian was walking behind Lucius as they made their way off the ship, with the Phoenix Core ahead of them and behind them guarding them. Callin was worried that they were followed so he was instructing them to head strait for the ship. Thristian knew better then to question Callin about people following them, so, he ordered everyone to make for the ship. Once they were all in the cargo bay he dismissed everyone except the core. He had gotten them to agree to a scan and to not leaving the planet they were going to until Callin said it was safe. All of them said, without reservation, that they would do whatever was needed to guard the Prince. What they did not know was that it was going to be two Princes and an Earl. Once everyone was off the ship, except the Core, Lucius and Thristian, a cloaked figure came into the bay, he proceeded to scan everyone. Once he was done and satisfied that they were all loyal to him Callin dropped the cloak and Chace joined him. As one every Core member went down to a knee and placed there right fist over their heart. "All hail the Crown Prince," they shouted as one.

"Please rise," Callin said. He always hated when they did that. As they all got back to their feet Lucius could not take it any more and ran to his brother. Nearly knocking them both over, it caused Callin to laugh, he loved his brothers. While they were hugging and talking the young woman that talked to Lucius came forward and snapped to attention.

"Your Majesty, we were not aware that it was you we were meeting. The Core stands ready to serve you in any way that is needed."

"At ease, Lieutenant, formality will not be needed for some time. We are going to a top secret base of mine, it will be your home for the next few years. In a few months I will arrange for your family's and personal items to be delivered as well. Now, if you will all follow me, but please leave all your things in here, we will not be moving them."

The Lieutenant dropped to an at ease stance before replying. "Your Majesty, with all due respect, what about our quarters? We were lead to believe that we would be on this ship for several weeks."

Callin got a smirk on his face before replying. "There are no rooms on this ship for you to have. There are two rooms on this ship that can be used to sleep in; one is the captains room, the other is the XO's room." At that the faces of the Core fell, they were not happy with living in a cargo bay for two weeks. "In any event, we will not be on this ship long enough for any of you to need a place to sleep. Now, please follow me to the bridge." With that Callin turned and walked off.

The members of the Core looked at each other then followed their Prince. When they arrived on the Bridge they were surprised to not see any crew, but were greeted by a voice.

<Callin there are birds on the bridge, and unknown persons. Accessing identity data base. Persons identified, welcome to Harvester One.>

They all looked shocked at the greeting and the look of the bridge.

"Callin, what is this ship?" Thristian asked.

"You already know that answer Uncle, it's a Harvester. You may need to prompt the system to sync with your interface." Callin made his way to the Captain's chair, pointed Chace to the First Officer's seat and Thristian to the other seat on his left. "Harvester One, begin departure."

<All personnel please stand by for system departure.> <Yur star system control. This is the Ember Industries ship, Harvester One, we are showing all systems go and are requesting system departure clearance.> The A.I. announced as it hailed the system control.

"This is Yur star system control. You are first in line for Departure. Fire engines, release clamps and stand by."

<Acknowledged control. Firing engines, releasing docking clamps and standing by.> As the engines came on line the control panels lit up. The A.I. brought the dampeners and shields online.

"Ember Industries ship, Harvester One, you are cleared for Departure on exit lane six. May the Spirits guide you."

"Thank you control, Harvester One out." Turning off the communicator the A.I. throttled up the thrusters and took off. Once clear of the dock it switched to impulse engines, it throttled to full power and switched to warp. Once clear of orbit it then exited the system at high warp. Once they were away they switched to hyperspace and traveled for a few light years.

"Your Majesty, does the A.I. control the ship?" One of the Core asked.

"Yes, it controls every system, but it also is capable of being run like a normal ship as well. With the A.I. I have little to no need of a crew." Callin then spent the next hour explaining some of the systems to his guests.

<Callin, we have arrived at the coordinates. Shall I bring the worm hole systems on line and open a worm hole?> The A.I. interrupted.

"Yes, that will be good. For the sake of the people aboard please call out each step."

<Bringing Zero Point Energy Cells 2- 4 on line, engaging Wormhole drive, distance 8,996 light years>

"As you can all see that is a worm hole." Callin told everyone as they looked at the main viewer. "Harvester please make sure all defense systems are set to standby for when we come out of the worm hole then enter the event horizon." They all watched as the ship moved into the hole and then they were still again.

<We have arrived at Ember System edge, entering system at max warp, estimated arrival is two minutes. All defense systems online, weapons set active.> Two minutes later they were above the planet Ember.

"Welcome to your new home, if you would all please go the cargo bay we will head down to the planet. All of your things have all ready been transported down. We will take the shuttle."

Once they got back to the bay he had everyone load up into the shuttle and then headed for the planet. "Follow me and I will show you to your temporary dwellings. I am having a base built for you that is modeled after the Phoenix Core Military base on Snowel, so you should all feel right at home. My uncle and brother will be staying with me of course."

He showed them to their rooms and allowed them to unpack a little before taking them on a tour of the base, the last stop was the medical bay once again. Callin had explained about the implants and asked everyone to get one, including his brother. No one objected. Lucius was nervous about it before he was told that it would let him keep in contact with Callin, then he had no issue with it. There were four chambers capable of doing the procedure, so while the first batch was being operated on the rest finished unpacking. Once the first group was done the next replaced them. Callin and Chace ran through a brief explanation of the interface, and then sent them to the holo-program to test it out. Lucius just stayed with Callin instead of going off to get some training, he would get some time to train with Callin and Chace later. Thristian did go with the group though, to point out the military points of the system. Twelve hours later all three groups were done, and Callin had everyone go and eat then took them on a fast fly over of where the military base was going to be. After that they were all tired and returned to their rooms to start getting ready for the night.

"What do you mean you lost them? How can you lose track of a ship?" An enraged Stephon yelled at the officer in front of him.

"They boarded a ship and left the system, my Emperor. The ship then vanished. We have been unable to locate it, and it has not been seen in any system as of yet." The officer was shaking with fear. Stephon had a reputation for blaming the messenger.

"What ship? Find out who owns that ship and find out now." Stephon bellowed out.

"We have tried, there is no record of it or the company that claims to own it. There is no Ember Industries." The officer said at last, the sweat dripping off his forehead was stinging his eyes but he tried his best to remain calm. He was thinking that he may be killed any moment.

"Next time that ship docks I want it captured. Do I make my self clear?" Little did he know that that ship would never again dock as long as he was alive. He then thrust his knife up in the officers head from under his chin. "I will not allow incompetence, or excuses. Kill the rest of his family." He then turned and stormed from the room like a child in a temper tantrum. Leaving behind a room of shaken soldiers.

Ann looked up at the knock on her door. She switched views on her monitor and saw a soldier standing there. She nodded to the guards by the door and told them to let him in.

"Your Majesty, I did not know who else to go to, but I can not hold my tongue in this matter." The soldier said as went to a knee.

"Speak freely, you have my ear." He stood back up, but could not bring himself to look Ann in the eye.

"Your husband has ordered the murder of a family because a young officer was unable to follow your son and the Lord Grand Marshal. He killed him in front of us, stabbed him right under the chin. I did not know what to do, I am a loyal soldier but I don't think a family should be killed because of the failure of one soldier."

Ann looked at him and began to think. "Lance Corporal, why is it you came to me?"

The soldier looked up shocked. "My Empress, it was my hope you could persuade the Emperor in this action, and convince him to spare the family."

"Where do your loyalty's lay Lance Corporal? With the Empire, my husband the Regent Emperor Temporal, or House of Devaus?" The soldier was taken aback by the question.

"Your Majesty, I do not understand the question, all three are the same."

"That is where you are mistaken. To be loyal to the Empire is to follow who ever currently leads it, to be loyal to the House of Devaus is to follow myself and my son, to be loyal to the Regent is treason. So I ask again, where do your loyalties lay." The soldier did not know what to do. He always thought that Stephon had the support of the Imperial family and that he was part of it. But here was the Empress calling him a traitor. He always thought the Emperor was an evil man but followed him because he was a loyalist. Now he was being given a different choice.

"I have never been given a choice like this before. Forgive me for saying this, but your husband is an evil man and I will follow the Crown Prince to the underworld and back if it meant that no more people will be hurt by that man."

Ann smiled at the young Lance Corporal, and he relaxed. "That was the right answer, now I think we have a family to save and I do believe that we need to get you transferred to a new unit. Why don't you have a seat while I get the people we need in here." The Lance Corporal took the seat that was offered and started telling Ann all he knew.

Caleb was the happiest he had been in a long time. His masters were leaving town for a whole week and they were leaving him behind. He would not be able to go inside, but that did not matter to him. He was just happy not to get beat any more. He was worried about food, but he figured he would find something.

He had had another dream last night, they were now an every night thing. He could almost reach out and talk to the boy in his dreams. He wanted to meet him so bad it hurt. He knew his future was with him, he wished he had his name. The dream last night was a different one than normal though. He dreamt he was in the boys arms and they were just holding each other. He felt wonderful and loved.

"Boy! Get out here," his master yelled from out side. Slowly, Caleb made his way outside.

"What can I do for you master?" Caleb asked with his eyes turned down.

"I am going to whip you one last time before we leave just to make sure you are punished for what ever you are going to do. I will also whip you when we get back to cover any other problems you caused." Caleb just did not care. He had expected it so he went over to the post and assumed the position. He went to his happy place as the whip lashed against his skin.

Date: Crutal /11/6874

Callin, Chace, Lucius, and Thristian were sitting at a table eating their breakfast when the members of the Core walked in. Callin had to admit that having them here would make somethings easier.

"Uncle, would it be possible to get a team of each of the The Imperial Forces here?"

"I could arrange it, but why do you want them here?"

"I could use them to test the new equipment as well as help me train and run missions out of here."

<Callin, would you like me to build additional bases for the other units? There are several Islands available in the same region. I could duplicate the bases from Snowel. Also, my defense grid is now on line. Any ship not broadcasting my codes will be disabled.>

"Thank you, Celestia, that would be fine. Just let me know where each base is, also build a landing strip some where." Callin said.

"Well, she is useful isn't she. I will make the arrangements when I get back. How long were you planing on having me and Lucius here?"

"You, at least twelve days, Lucius can stay as long as he likes after that. I don't want to take the harvester to a dock again. So I am waiting for my new ship to be built."

"I miss Dani, a lot, but I don't want to leave you either. Can't he and Justin come too?" Lucius asked in a low voice that was almost a whisper.

"Well, I am planning a trip back to Devia once my ship is built, I have somethings that I need to do back there. I was planning on bringing Mom and Medil back here for a day trip when I was done. I could bring Dani then, I'm still not ready for Justin. It is not that I do not trust him, it is just that I don't think he needs to be involved yet."

<Callin, I have intercepted a data search for Ember Industries. I have blocked the request again, this is the sixth time since you returned that such a search has been made. If we wish to continue to sell material, as well as operate in the public eye, we will need to find a front person to show as the leader of the company, it would not be a good idea if it was traced to you.>

"It has to be our father. I am assuming that he tried to have you both followed, but was unable to do so. That is why I did not want to use the Harvester again. The new ship will be registered under my name and classed as an Imperial ship."

"Why can't he just leave us alone? He knows we all hate him. Dani and I can't wait to go off to University just to get away from him."

"Our father is an evil bastard, that is why. But try not to let it get to you to much Lucius, I am dealing with it. That is what all this is for, Father is planing something and I will be ready for it."

Thristian was unusually quiet during this, he was debating on whether or not to just tell them both that Medil was their real father. He knew that the children hated Stephon but he did not know how much until this moment. He had his promise to keep though, unless they asked he could not betray Ann.

"So what are we going to do for twelve days?" Thristian asked in an attempt to change the subject.

"Well, I do not really know. I could use your help in testing things. Also, there is a lot of the planet that has not been explored yet. There is also something else I wanted to talk to you both about." Callin said as Chace handed them both an injector filled with a blue fluid. "Inject that and then try using one of your psychokinetic abilities. I would stay away from fire skills though." Callin said with a smirk. Both Thristian and Lucius looked at each other then injected the fluid. Lucius tried filling a glass with water only to have a flood instead. Thristian tried to use his Telekinesis to move a chair but sent it flying into a wall instead. They just stared at Callin and Chace who were trying hard not to laugh.

"What in the name of the spirits did you do to us?"

"Think it over Uncle, what did you feel when you accessed your power?"

"It felt stronger, Callin. I can still feel something in me that is boosting the power, but it is wearing off now."

"Your right Lucius, it did increase your ability," Chace said. "It is also temporary, the fluid will wear off, and it is used when you trigger any psychokinetic abilities. We discovered it by mistake after we first had the implants done," he said as he rubbed his head remembering the hit in the head he took. "We think it can be used in an emergency to boost your level. I have talked to Callin about adding it to the skinsuit but we don't want it to be in wide use. So we decided on these injectors for now."

Date: Crutal /22/6874

<Callin, the Star Cruisers are done and the A.I.'s are on line.>

"Thank you, Celestia. Please inform Chace, my Uncle and brother as well. Have them meet me in the hanger bay. Also, please have all the equipment that is going back to Devia loaded on the I.S. Constellation."

Callin made his way to the hanger bay and looked at his new ship. He was happy with the way the last eleven days had gone. He had gotten the Phoenix Core moved in to their new base and Lucius was coming along well with the training for the interface and the spiritus booster fluid. Now it was time to go home, he was going to stop by Coleona on his way home as well and see his Uncle.

"Is it time to go home?" Lucius asked as he walked into the hanger bay and came up next to his brother.

"Yes, we are heading home. Celestia has every thing in good hands here, and I have things that need to be done at home." As he was talking Chace and Thristian came up as well.

"Well then, let us get on board." Thristian announced as he headed for the bay door. "I am assuming I can have a tour of this ship unlike the Harvester." With that he walked on board.

"Chace, can you get the ship ready to take off while I do the tour for my Uncle and brother?"

"Yes, not that there is a lot to do. The ship is automated and has no crew." Chace responded as he walked on board as well, heading for the bridge.

"Well, shall we?" Callin asked Lucius as he started walking to the ship.

"As you can see this is the cargo bay, it is one of two. There is one on each side of the ship, this is the port side. Above us is the fighter bay and hanger. There are four of them, two on the port and two on the starboard. Unlike the cargo bay, they open on the side of the ship, not the aft." Callin explained as they walked through the cargo bay. "Below us is the engine room as well as the systems rooms. The reactors, computers, communications, and A.I. rooms are there as well. We will start there and work our way up to the bridge." He led them to a lift that took them down to the engineering level and showed them the different rooms. Most were sealed and air tight.

"This is the reactor room, it has the Cold Fusion Reactor, Matter/Antimatter Reactor and the Zero-Point Energy Cell Interface Unit." Callin said as he pointed out the different equipment through the glass. "This is a clean room, and it is air tight, it is also filled with sulfur hexafluoride to reduce the chance of energy conducting through the air. It also acts as a poison should anyone break in there, they would be dead in under a minute. The room is kept at just above freezing and is filtered down to the zeptite." He then continued to walk down the corridor.

"This is the communications, Computer, and A.I. room. Like the Reactor room it is also a clean room, it is air tight, and it is also filled with sulfur hexafluoride. This room is kept below freezing. As you can see there are no doors into this room or the other sealed ones. This wall is made of Picites and will form a door if it is prompted to by someone with an Advanced Interface and the correct security clearance. If I have a crew then the Chief Engineer would be such a person. The next room back is the Engine room." He then had them follow him back to the last room and showed them the different engines and drives.

After they were done with the Engineering level they went back up to look at the hangers.

"This is one of the hangers, as you can see, this one has the fighters in it. We can carry up to eighty fighters, twenty on each hanger. I would like to have more, but space is limited. We also have a shuttle bay next to the cargo bay, it holds four shuttles. The next floor up is medical, research, and other science departments. On this ship they are not used as much as they would be on a fleet ship." He once again headed for the lift. "Any questions so far?"

"This ship seems to be heavily armed Callin, more so than most Star-Cruisers, why?"

"Well, this is the test ship for all the new tech. Also, it's my ship, I don't want to be out gunned." They all walked out into the Science floor, and headed to the medical bay. "As you can see it is similar to the one on the planet. It is mostly staffed with Droids."

Thristian and Lucius looked around and saw a state of the art medical center. Lucius was not as interested in the ship as Thristian was. But even he could tell how proud Callin was of the ship.

"Okay, the next stop is the living decks, that is where the dinning hall quarters and entertainment are at. We have three decks dedicated to that. The bow end of the top deck is the bridge, shield, and weapons control." They skipped the next three decks and headed to the bridge.

"Chace's ship is the same as this one. He should have both ships online by now." He walked onto the bridge and saw Chace standing at the control council. "Is every thing ready?"

"Yes, Callin, both ships are on line and all the tests past. I'm going to head over to my ship now and get ready for take off."

"You two can have any seat in here, except the Captains seat." Like the harvester, the bridge was round. Callin made his way over to his seat and saw that his Uncle took up the seat at weapons control and his brother the first officers seat. He smiled at Lucius and started checking everything. "Lucius, why don't you take us out?"

Lucius gaped at Callin and looked really scared. "I don't know how to fly this thing!"

Callin laughed at his brother. "It is easy, tell Celestia to open the hanger doors, then tell Constellation to begin atmospheric departure. The A.I. will handle the rest." He got a look like Lucius wanted to know if he was insane or not, but he did as he was told.

"Celestia open the hanger doors." Lucius called out, hoping this was not some kinda prank.

<Hanger bay doors open, fire shields raised. You are now ready for departure.>

"Constellation, begin atmospheric departure."

<Running systems self tests, stand by. All test show green and online. Bringing shields, life support, and gravity online. All systems show green. Activating Z.P.E.C 1 and Cold Fusion Reactor. Bringing warp core online. All systems are online and standing by.> A loud humming sound started as the engines were started up and the thrusters engaged.

<Firing thrusters, prepare for take off, 3...2...1> The ship started to hover before there was a blast and it cleared the hanger, then the impulse drive kicked in and the ship rocked away.

<Atmospheric departure in 3..2..1.., we are now clear of the atmosphere, leaving orbit in 3...2...1, we are now clear of the planets orbit. Setting course for Devia Prime. Bringing warp shields on line. Max warp engaged. We will be clear of the system in six minutes.>

"See, it was not that hard. We should check in with Chace though. Do you know how to do that?"

"With the ship or the NI you gave me?"

"The ship, we want it on the main viewer."

"Constellation contact.." "What is his ship called?"


"Thanks, Callin." "Constellation contact the Ara, main view-screen."

<Hailing the Ara, on the viewer.>

"HI Chace, I got to fly the ship."

"Good job, Lucius! Did you like it?"

"It was so easy, all I had to do was tell Constellation what I wanted and she did it for me!"

"That's good. So what do I owe this call too?"

"I wanted to make sure take off went well." Callin said as he smiled at his happy brother.

"Yes, it went well. As Lucius said, all I had to do was tell Ara what I wanted. I can not wait to see home again. What do you think Uncle Thristian?"

"I am very impressed with this ship. I now see why it does not need a large crew. I would not mind having a ship like this myself."

<That is the plan, your Lordship. Every loyal ship in the fleet will be replaced with an upgraded ship like myself.>

"Thank you, Constellation, but in the future please do not volunteer sensitive information. In this case it was ok, but if there are other people present please do not exceed their clearance."

<Very well, your Majesty.>

"Also, when it is just me or my family around, please do not use titles."

<As you wish, Callin.>

"Well, as Constellation said, we are planing on replacing every ship in the fleet that has a loyal commander with an upgraded version of it."

"Why not just upgrade the ones we have? Why waist the resources?"

"It is easier for us to just build them new. As you saw on the tour the lay out has changed and we use different alloys on this ship, and others like it, than the fleet uses now. This ship is actually unfinished, the hull is still being completed. It will take a month for that to fully finish, in the mean time it is like any standard hull. However, when it is done it will be self repairing, and six feet thick. The battle class ships will have twenty four feet thick armor. The ship also employs a triple shield as well. So as you can see it is better to just scrap the old ships and build a new one."

"How long did it take you to build this ship, Callin?" Lucius asked.

"It took about twelve days to build a ship this size using my droids to do the work, and Celestia replicating the parts. The smaller ships like fighters and shuttles can be replicated whole."

<We have cleared the system, dropping from warp. Would you like to use the hyperspace drive or the worm hole drive?>

"Worm-Hole, make sure we come out on the outside of the system, and use warp to travel in."

<Bringing Z.P.E.C. 2-4 on line Engaging Worm-Hole drive. Distance 8,969 light years. Opening Worm-Hole.> A few moments latter. <We have arrived, shutting down Z.P.E.C. 2-4, re-engaging warp drive Max warp. Arrival time twenty minutes.>

Ann was just going over the report of the rescue of the family that Stephon tried to have killed when she heard her communications station beep at her. She turned around and saw that it was a secure line. She turned on the screen and nearly had a heart attack at seeing Callin.

"Hi mom, I just wanted to let you know I will be back at Devia in about twenty minutes. I have some things to do before I can stop at home though."

"Callin Truga, where in the name of the spirits have you been? If you think you can just call me and say that your back on planet and not come straight back home you have another thing coming. I want you to come straight home young man. Your are fifteen years old, what made you think you could go running all over the galaxy without letting any one know what you were doing?"

"Mom, calm down. I am doing what needs to be done. As for what I need to do before I come home, well, it is important. I have to tie up some lose ends before they get me in trouble."

After he was done talking the screen went blank. That just made Ann even more mad. She got up, threw her door open, marched down the hall and out of the palace. She told the soldier at the gate to get her a hover car and make it quick. Within two minutes a car was coming up for her.

"Take me to the Justial Conclave and hurry." She all but shouted at the driver. Ann was in no mood to be nice. As they pulled up to the gate it opened for them and she got out, ignoring the disembodied voice welcoming her. She saw the guide come up and great her.

"How can we help you to day your Majesty? We were not expecting you today."

"I need to see the Lord High Justice, now!"

"He is in a meeting right now with the Prime Minister. If you would like to wait I will let him know you are here and when he is done you can see him then."

"No, I want you to interrupt him and tell him that I need to speak to him about Callin, and no, It can not wait."

The young Justice looked flustered. On one hand she did not want to interrupt the Lord High Justice, and on the other, she did not want to refuse what sure sounded like an order from her Empress. "Your Majesty, please wait in the drawing room I will tell him that you are here and see what he wants me to do." Ann relented and waited in the drawing room, while the Justice went and informed Medil that she was there.

"Your Imperial Excellency, please forgive me for interrupting, but the Empress is here and is insistent on seeing you. She said that it was about the Crown Prince."

Medil jumped to his feet. "I am sorry Mister Prime Minister, but I must see to this, shall we reschedule. Very good, please see my assistant to have it put in the books. Now, if you will excuse me." He quickly left the room, not giving either of the two people with him the chance to say anything. He flung his senses out, found Ann, and then made his way to the drawing room.

After making sure the room was sealed he pulled Ann into his arms. "What happened, is he alright?"

"He seemed alright. But your son has decided to inform me he will be on planet in twenty minutes but will not be coming home right away as he has things to attend to. I swear I could strangle him for this."

"But he is all right? He's not hurt?"

"No, he seemed fine. That is not the point though. How can he do that? Just run off for months then come back to Devia and not come home first thing."

"He is growing up. He is putting duty before his personal wants and needs."

<We have arrived at the system edge, slowing to full impulse. Contacting system control. Devia System Control this is the Imperial Ship Constellation requesting permission to enter the star system.>

"This is system control, we have no record of an Imperial ship Constellation. Please identify the Captain."

<System Control, the Captain is His Imperial Majesty, Crown Prince Callin Truga, of the House Devaus, Duke of Snowel.>

"Please provide visual confirmation."

Callin switched on his view screen and hailed control. "As you can see I am the Captain. Now, please grant my ship, and the other ship in my fleet, access to the system on Imperial lane one."

"As you wish your Majesty, and welcome home. You are clear for orbit above Devia."

"Chace, we are cleared, set up orbit above the planet. Take a shuttle down to the planet and meet me at the bank."

<We will arrive in orbit in one minute, shutting down warp core bringing all defensive systems on line, setting weapons to stand by.>

"Okay everyone, let's head to the shuttle bay. Uncle, if you could take my brother back home in shuttle two I would be grateful. I have somethings I must do."

"Constellation, please have my uncle's and brother's gear loaded on shuttle two by the cargo droids. Also, please load the supplies I brought into Cargo Lander one and two. Put the cargo for the Palace in Lander two, and the cargo for the bank in Lander one."

<It is being done now.>

Callin started walking to the hanger bay, taking his time so that the cargo could be loaded by the time he got there. He knew that loading 3,253 tons of Platinum onto the cargo lander was going to take some time. By the time they got down to the hanger the cargo lander's were almost fully loaded. The shuttle was loaded so Thristian and Lucius left for the Palace. By the time the lander's were loaded Chace had already arrived at the bank and was waiting for Callin.

Once every thing was loaded Callin was done with his flight checks and was cleared for re-entry. He took the Lander directly to the bank and landed it on their cargo pad. He found Chace waiting for him in the lobby, outside the manager's office.

"What took you so long?" Chace asked.

"I had to wait for the lander to be loaded. It took longer than I thought it would."

"Ah, your Majesty, your Lordship. How nice to see you again. What is it I can do for you this time?"

"We would like to repay the loan in full at this time. In a cargo lander on the cargo pad you will find 2,677,106 bars or pure Platinum. Each bar is 32.15 GMS ounces, you can place the extra in the account." Callin was amused by the bank managers impression of a fish.

"I will get someone to off load it, please make yourselves comfortable in my office." The manager finally managed to get out, before running off to the cargo bay.

"I think you shocked him, Callin."

"At least he is off guard enough now that he wont try to scam us. We might as well get comfortable, this could take awhile. I am sure they will want to count it all."

As they sat down the managers assistant came in and asked them if they would like any thing to drink. Callin had him bring a bottle of Coleonaian Half-Wine; a half juice, half wine, mix that was good, if you did not want to become too intoxicated.

Two hours and a bottle of wine later the manager came back. "Well, it looks like everything is in order. We have deposited 176,400,050,595.208 Credits into your account. Now, if I remember correctly, you wanted to make a payoff for the loan."

"Yes, we would like to pay it off at this time." Chace said.

"Very well, let us see here. You had the loan of 168,000,000,000, (168 billion), for five months and ten days. That is a repayment of 176,400,000,000 credits. I will go ahead and deduct that from the account, that leaves you with 1,085,963.653 credits in that account. Is there any thing else we can do for you today?"

"Yes, I need to open up several different accounts to work with. One is a savings account, one operating account, one payroll account, and one deposit account. I want the balance of each account to be swept into the savings every night at market close."

"I will take care of that. If you would just swipe your identity chips over the reader, I will get that done for you." After they had done that the new accounts were opened. The manager asked if there was any thing else and when they said no he escorted them out to the lander.

(Celestia, do you have the new accounts?) Callin asked using the interface.

<Yes, Callin, I do. I have started building the Freighter and will begin finding buyers for the material we do not use.>

(Thank you, Celestia.)

"OK Chace, lets head back up to the ship, get the other lander and drop off the equipment for the Palace."

They both boarded the lander and headed back up to the ship. Once they boarded they changed lander's and headed back down to the planet. After they had landed at the Palace they activated the droids and informed the palace staff of the work that was going to be done. Some of the equipment was being transported down by the ship. While the work was being done, upgrading the systems with the ones that Callin had designed, Callin and Chace decided it was time to face the music and went in search of Ann.

They checked Ann's office first, as it was the most likely place to find her, they were not disappointed. After opening the door to see Ann, Medil, Marcus, and Thristian they realized that this was going to take awhile as well.

"Well, what do you two have to say for your selves?" Ann asked them both. She had already been given a basic briefing by Thristian, but wanted the boys to report themselves.

"We are sorry for not telling you where we were going, but it was the only way."

"I understand your reasons, that does not change the fact that you disappeared, without a trace, and all we got was a recorded message two days latter. Then your great uncle stumble across you in the frontier. When he gets back he wont tell us anything other than we should wear these new skin suits and that you want Lucius to join you for some reason that you do not want the rest of us to know. Now, I think some explaining is in order."

"It is hard to explain. Most of it you need to see. If you want I can take you to where we have been, it will not take long. You might want the day cleared though."

"I think that is best, we will leave after lunch. Now, for the other question, why are there robots running around my Palace and what is it they are installing?"

"Upgraded systems, the robots are droids I designed."

After having lunch the group headed for the landing pad and boarded the shuttle that Thristian and Lucius took. Ann was still not happy with what was happening, but she decided that if it had any thing to do with her dreams she would go along with it. She thought Callin was going over board with the modifications to the Palace. The shield dome and other defense was a little much in her mind, she did like the A.I. though and decided to name it Lux.

As they all secured themselves in seats on the shuttle, Callin started preflight.

"Control, this is the Imperial Shuttle Constellation One, requesting atmospheric departure on the Imperial way, we have the Imperial family aboard, please clear the air."

"Acknowledged Imperial Shuttle, sky's are clear, you are cleared for immediate departure. You have been cleared out of the system as well, all traffic has been stopped. May the spirits guide your way."

"Thank you control, firing thrusters, taking off." Callin switched to impulse drive and kicked it into high, he took off from the planet leaving a sonic boom behind, he then docked with his ship and ordered the A.I. to leave the system while he gave the family a small tour. He gave them the same tour he gave Thristian and Lucius. Medil kept beaming with pride at what his son had done, Callin picked up on it and was happy. He could never figure it out, but what Medil thought of him was always important. He always assumed that it went back to him wishing that Medil was his father. When they had made it to the bridge they were ready to drop from warp and shift to the Worm-hole.

"We should be over the planet soon, feel free to relax up here until then."

"You were this close and never came home?" Ann asked.

"The planet we are going to is over 9,000 light years away. Until this ship was finished it was not practical for me to come home."

"That trip will take months, you said it was a short trip."

"This is one of the new things I told you about, please watch as we enter the Worm-Hole."

He switched the main screen to show the hole opening and them entering it. He was getting good at commanding the systems with his interface. Ann gasped as they entered the event horizon and came out the other side moments later on the edge of a star system.

<The defense grid is active, transmitting codes.> Callin shifted the screen view to show the grid, it looked like Celestia had been busy. In a layered sphere, going out three standardized orbits, were satellites, thousands of them. They formed a weapon and shield barrier around the planet. As they came closer a set of shield ships shut down opening a hole to fly through.

"What is down there that you need so much protection?" Medil asked.

"The future," was all Callin said.

They got back on the shuttle and headed down to the planet. When they came in view of the base, there was a collective gasp as every one took in what was before them.

"Welcome to Ember." Chace said to every one.

As they entered the base, Celestia greeted them all. <Hello your Imperial Majesty, your Majesty, your Imperial Excellency, and your Grace. Welcome to the Ember complex.>

"Is that the same A.I. that was in your room?" Ann asked, shocked at how advanced every thing seemed.

"Yes, she is Celestia. Would you like a tour, or should we just get down to business?"

"I think I would like a tour, Ann you are welcome to get right down to the matter if you wish." Marcus stated.

"I agree with Marcus, the briefing can wait. I want to see what these two have been up to." Medil answered. Ann almost pouted before she caught herself. She just wanted to know what her son and ward had gotten themselves into.

"Fine. but when we are done I will have full disclosure." Ann relented.

Callin and Chace took them all through the Complex, even a fly over to see the new bases that were being built and the one that was already built, then they ended up in the medical bay. "So after hearing all that and seeing everything, are you all willing to have the procedure?" Chace asked. "It will allow you to know what we have been up to and allow for you to contact us when we are not at home."

"I am willing." Medil stated he was willing just so he could keep in contact, he had little use for the other aspects of the interface. Well, so he thought.

"I also would like to go through with it, and I would like to talk to you about getting some of these things for myself as well. I would like the A.I. system that you installed in the Palace of Light if possible." Marcus said. He knew this was considered high technology, but to him the benefits were more than the public backlash.

"I will have the equipment replicated before we leave and we can install it when we get back." Callin said.

"Well, if it is the only way to learn what is going on then, yes, I will allow it." Ann said at last. She was not thrilled with having her head opened, but she knew that Lucius, Thristian, Chace and Callin had all had it done already.

They all climbed into a bio chamber and allowed the implant to begin. Callin set the interfaces at Command level, but then decided to make a new Interface level for his family. He added the ability to communicate and integrate with Celestia. He had Thristian's and Lucius's changed over as well. He noticed Thristian wince a little and wondered why.

"Is every thing alright?"

"Yes, just felt like a headache was settling in for a moment, but then it passed." Thristian responded.

"That is my fault, I did not know there would be any reaction to a firmware upgrade on the implant. I changed the Interface level on your implant, and Lucius as well."

"You should send out a warning first. If you did that when someone was flying a fighter it could end bad."

"I did not think of that, but as I said, I did not know that there were physical signs of the update."

"Celestia, please send a warning message prior to all interface updates."

<That will not be a problem, Callin. I can override the communications settings to allow for emergency communication.>

"Well, they have some time left, what would you two like to do while we wait for them?" Callin asked.

"Well, there are some things I wanted to go over with you. If you do not mind." Thristian said.

So, for the next four hours they talked about plans and other organization items. In the end it was decided that they would need people for the public side of Ember Industries, so they decided to bring Talbot in as a director and have some Imperial security officers act as guards for the shipments. They also decided to have fifteen of each of the Imperial forces on planet. They already had the Phoenix Core so they needed Dragon Core, Ghost Squadron, Psi-Core, and Imperial Guard. Callin had Celestia start on a base for the security as well.

Callin also decided to have his old research partners found and brought to Ember for their safety. So, he had a small village designed and had Celestia start building that as well. After Callin found out about the family that Stephon tried to have killed he decided to have them brought to Ember as well. It would be easier to hide them on Ember then anywhere else. He would employ the adults in the family as representatives of Ember Industries. Fining out what Stephon did to the soldier and what he tried to do to the family enraged Callin and Chace.

When they were done talking they went to go check on everyone. They saw that they still had about an hour left before it was done. So they decided to go check on the building. Celestia let them know when the implantation were done. So, they headed back to be there when everyone woke up.

"How do you feel mom?" Callin asked

"Like a bomb went off in my head, why is everything flashing?"

"The interface is calibrating itself and uploading settings and information into your memory. It should only last a few moments." True to his word, after a few moments the flashing and pain stopped. Callin started to think that a pain killer should be part of the support fluid.

"There is a holo-program set up to help you get used to using the interface, if you would like to use that. After you are done, if you have any questions Chace and I will be around. Then we should head back to Devia."

Several hours later they were heading back to Devia. Ann was more relaxed about what was going on, and the fact that she could contact them at any time now was a big relief. After they got back to Devia Callin asked if he could go with Marcus for the night. No one had a problem with it. So, after dropping off the rest of them at the Palace, he had Marcus's things loaded onro his shuttle and they took off for Coleona.

He was given an ice welcome by his cousin Glorya, they never seemed to get along well. Callin settled in for the night and had dinner with his uncle and cousin. The next day Callin and Glorya were going out for a ride through the capital. In Coleona they did not use hover cars but used Zamba to pull it instead.

Date: Crutal /23/6874

Caleb was walking behind Nevor, his masters son had come home in shame. He had failed out of the University. It was blamed on Caleb, they said the traumatic event of the seduction had impaired Nevor. It never crossed their minds that their son was just dumb.

Caleb was ordered to attend to Nevor for this day, as he searched for a place to live. He was getting the same feeling he had the day he was almost raped. As they approached an ally Nevor shoved him up against a wall.

"You will do as I say this time. I did not go through the trouble of messing up my grades so you could get away from me again."

Caleb started to panic as he was dragged into an abandoned house. Nevor started to rip his clothes off. Caleb screamed for help, but that only got him smacked.

"It will like it, it will not scream, it will obey."

Callin and Glorya were riding down the street in a carriage when Callin felt the mental panic slam into him, he knew that mind. He started yelling for the driver to stop. Then before it was even fully stopped he jumped out and ran to where he felt the mind at. He threw open the door and lost his temper at what he saw. Nevor trying to rape the love of his life, the boy of his dreams.

"Get off him," Callin yelled before using every ounce of power to throw Nevor as far as he could.

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